Skip to content ↓
Ely College

Ely College

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information

Should you have any queries regarding SEND provision at Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form then please contact Mrs Keeley Wickham - SENDCo Lead -

Telephone 01353 667763 extension 2859  

Report: PDF attachment below.

Details of the Cambridgeshire County Council Local Offer can be found here:

1. The kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, for which provision is made at the school 

Ely College aims to make appropriate provision for the full range of students with SEND. We have a history of working successfully with pupils who have mild and moderate learning difficulties, speech, language and communication difficulties including those on the autistic spectrum and students with ADHD. We have strategies in place to support those with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and those with social, emotional and mental health issues. Provision has also been made for students with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, juvenile arthritis and epilepsy, as well as visual and auditory disabilities and wheelchair users. The college site has been adapted in recent years to accommodate partially blind students and those who require wheelchairs.

2. Identification and assessment of pupils with SEND 

At the start of the Summer term every year, information is gathered on incoming Year 6 students from our feeder primary schools, from families and agencies such as Educational Psychology, Hearing and Visual Support Services, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, Cambridgeshire’s Specialist Teaching Service and any other relevant agencies regarding pupils who are likely to have SEND. Information regarding these students is written up and disseminated to staff before the two day Induction Programme in July.

Students who transfer in mid-year are identified from previous schools’ records.

Issues regarding individual students’ special needs raised by teaching and support staff, or families, are investigated.

Assessment of students’ literacy skills, especially Year 7 students are carried out on entry to identify students who need intervention in this area.  The Maths and English Departments carry out their own baseline assessments during the first ½ term to ascertain starting points. Students are all assessed regularly in individual subjects, and any concerns raised by these are acted upon by the relevant Senior Tutors and subject teachers who liaise with the SEND team.

How will we know if your child needs extra help?

When your child first comes to us we use information from:

* Primary school teachers, end of key stage 2 levels

* Baseline literacy testing and Cognitive Ability Tests in year 7

* Parents/carers, application form information

*Subject teachers

*Specialist colleagues, external agencies

As your child gets older we use information or referrals from:

*Termly assessments and interim data

*Subject teachers, tutors and Senior Tutors

*Parental concerns

*External agencies

3. Making provision for students with SEND

a) How the school evaluates the effectiveness of provision for SEND students

Tracking of the progress of all students at Ely College is a continuous process, in terms of both academic and social/emotional/behavioural aspects of development. Concerns regarding the progress being made by pupils with SEND can be identified by any staff working with them, by families, or by the student themselves. For the effectiveness of provision to be judged satisfactory, the student would be making at least expected progress in terms of academic achievement, would be behaving appropriately and would be socially integrated into their teaching and year groups.

b) The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND

In addition to the tracking process referred to above, all students with an Education, Health and Care plan will have a Pupil Progress Profile containing information about the student’s strengths, areas of concern, targets for them to work on and information for teachers on how best to support them. We are in the process of rolling this out to all SEND support students.  This puts the student very much at the heart of the document and is drawn up after a discussion with the student about their views on their learning, what they want teachers to consider when teaching them and two achievable targets. Feedback from staff on how pupils are progressing is requested regularly, before review meetings with parents and the student, if deemed appropriate. Students, not at the review meeting, will then meet with a member of the SEND team to ascertain their perspective on their progress, to share views of their teachers with them, and to update the Pupil Progress Profile targets. Students in the other year groups may have a Pupil Progress Profile drawn up after review meetings with parents if it is deemed appropriate.

Additionally, all students who undertake intervention programmes such as "Lexia Powerup",  “Spelling Mastery” and “SRA reading comprehension programme” have literacy levels assessed at the beginning and end of the programme. Literacy levels of all students with SEND who undertake intervention sessions are assessed towards the end of each academic year. Progress is written up on our provision maps for each student and their views recorded regarding the success and impact of the interventions. This conforms to the “assess, plan, do, review” process as advocated in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25. The Annual Review for students with an EHCP is included in this process.

c) The school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND

Whatever a students ability level, subject teachers retain responsibility for their education as all our teachers are teachers of SEND. Groups of more able students tend to be larger, those containing students with SEND smaller. Groups with SEND students tend to be those with additional adult support. Teaching Assistants (TAs) working with these groups often have particular expertise in the subject area being supported and/or with working with student(s) in the group. TAs work closely with teachers to deliver the curriculum effectively to students with SEND.  Attempts are made to ensure that work is differentiated in such a way that it is accessible to all students. Those students who are not able to access mainstream courses, for example GCSE courses, are offered alternatives such as COPE and Step Up to English.

d) How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND

As mentioned earlier, teaching staff differentiate work to suit the ability level of the pupils they are teaching. While all students in Key Stage 3 follow a common curriculum, teachers consider such aspects as the readability of written material, the range of activities to be undertaken, the manner in which lessons are delivered and the explicitness of explanations and instructions. Writing frameworks, for example, are often made available to support written work. Teaching is, wherever possible, delivered in a multi-sensory way, so that students have visual as well as oral material to support their learning. Work is broken down into manageable chunks for students. Literacy development is a cross curricular focus at the college, with work taking place on vocabulary development, spelling and effective writing in all relevant departments, providing a supportive learning environment for students with literacy difficulties, including dyslexia. Numeracy development has also been introduced into all subject areas to raise the profile and importance of number skills.

Our three year Key Stage 4 enables us to offer a wider range of optional subjects and thus we run a number of vocational courses; subjects such as Hair and Beauty as well as Hospitality and Catering have become popular, balancing exams with practical coursework. In terms of the learning environment, adaptations are made in response to the needs of students. Appropriate seating arrangements are made for students with hearing or visual impairments, and those who have difficulty with concentration.

In Key Stage 5 students with SEND are catered for by individualised timetables to reflect their needs. 

e) Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEND

As mentioned earlier, the school regularly deploys additional adults to work in groups containing students with SEND. These adults, usually TAs, are often able to give more individual support to those who need it. Many subject areas offer after school support to those who need it. The SEND Department runs regular literacy and some maths intervention sessions. They provide a “safe haven” for vulnerable students during unstructured time; offer a weekly, afterschool homework support for identified students and those who wish to have additional help and an appropriate environment in which to work.  A small number of students who come in with below average National Curriculum levels and have difficulty with literacy are withdrawn from MFL sessions and instead come to the HUB for supported study sessions. These supported study groups (SSG ) have proved effective in improving not just basic reading and spelling skills, but also comprehension, confidence and motivation.

Touch Typing courses have been arranged for students who experience visual impairments and/or fine motor difficulties, and Alpha Smarts: portable word processing equipment, are made available to some students with illegible handwriting.

f) How the school enables pupils with SEND to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have SEND

All students at Ely College have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of school life, often through the steps referred to earlier. Responses to individual needs are made on an individual basis, by, for example, carrying out additional risk assessments and increasing staffing levels to ensure the successful inclusion, health and safety of students involved in activities away from the school premises. For students who struggle with PE, often a TA will oversee alternative activities with a small group under the guidance of the PE staff. Students who require physiotherapy have often used the equipment in the fitness room in the Sports Hall as part of their programme under the guidance of the Physiotherapist.

g) Support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with SEND

Ely College enjoys the benefits of having a room where vulnerable students with medical or emotional needs can go if they require some time out of lessons. Students with various other needs can also go there, should they also need time out of lessons. This room is situated in the Hub and staffed by members of the SEND team. They support the students' work through any issues they may have and help reintegrate them back into lessons. If a student is struggling, they can be referred through the Locality team and a youth worker assigned to see them weekly for a period of time. These confidential sessions are 1-1 and support students through their problems. Students are also able to self-refer to the school nurse who comes in on a weekly basis.  Where it is felt that problems are beyond the scope of the school, students can be referred on to other agencies, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

4. Name and contact details of the school’s SEND Coordinator

Keeley Wickham - SENDCo Lead -

Telephone 01353 667763 extension 2859  

5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with SEND, and about how specialist expertise will be secured

Information on the way in which SEND provision is made in Ely College is included in the induction programme for all new staff joining the school. This includes an explanation of where to find information regarding individual students, their levels of attainment and ways in which they can be supported. The SENCo has provided information, available on the school’s computer system, on a range of areas of difficulty students are likely to experience, and how they can best be supported.

Teaching Assistants at the College have accessed a variety of training courses which include:

- Awareness of Autism

- Attachment Training

- Mental Health

- Makaton

- Working with Visually Impaired students

- ELKLAN speech, language and communication training at level 2

- How to teach dyslexic students effectively


- Numeracy in the classroom

- Emotional Literacy

Higher Level Teaching Assistant training has been completed by some TAs. Teaching Assistants also have specific training related to individual students’ needs.

Outside agencies, including Educational Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing and Visual impairment specialists and other professionals from the Health Service are called upon to provide advice as and when necessary.

6. Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people will be secured

Where young people with SEND have an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), issues regarding equipment and facilities they need will be identified at the Annual Review meetings and raised with the Statutory Resource Team (START). Where students do not have this protection, discussion regarding provision of equipment and facilities will be discussed with the Principal and the Finance Manager.  
Funding for relatively low cost items will be found from within the SEND department’s budget. Examples of where this has happened include provision of Alpha Smarts for students with fine motor problems and reading resources for developing literacy skills.

7. The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child

During the term prior to transfer into Year 7, the SENCo contacts the parents of the students identified for the vulnerable group held in June-July. Parents/Carers are contacted after ½ term in October about those students whom the SENCo feels need extra interventions. Staff  are informed of individual difficulties via the school's computer system.

A tutor session is held around ½ term for parents to come in and discuss how their child has settled in. Review meetings are arranged between parents and the SENCo and /or the Senior Tutor  where we feel that progress is not being made and Action plans are generated with input from parents, teachers, student and the SENCo.  Work will take place on the targets set in the Action plan with parents’ input where practical, by, for example, ensuring that homework is carried out, reading with their child and helping with the learning of tables or spellings. The date to review these targets is made at the initial meeting, usually ½ termly or termly depending on the needs of the individual student. Parents then attend the review, discuss the child’s progress, consider teachers’ assessments, and contribute to future plans. Parents are made aware that they are welcome to contact the SENCo at any time. They are also able to discuss their child’s progress with the SENCo who is available at each year groups’ annual parents' evening.

For all year groups we welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress. We do this through:

* The college newsletter (Sway)

* Information on the website

* Parents’ Evenings

* Parents' In The Loop Forum

* Email

* Telephone calls

* Appointments with individual teachers

* Annual reviews (for those with an Education Health & Care Plan)

The school provides information for parents through:

* Open evenings

* Letters home

* Information evenings

* Termly progress reviews

8. Arrangements for consulting young people with SEND about, and involving them in, their education

At Ely College we encourage students to share their views, in discussion, about their education. They are always present at Annual Reviews and mostly present at their Progress profile reviews and Action plan reviews.  Their teachers’ perceptions regarding their attitude, application and progress are shared with them, with any concerns raised by students being fed back to teachers concerned. They are involved in setting their targets for the future, and are invited to suggest ways in which school can support them more effectively.

9. Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND concerning the provision made at school

The school has a formal complaints policy which can be found on the website under Policies.

In the first instance, contact the student’s Senior Tutor. If the complainant is not satisfied by the outcome, the complaint will then be passed on to the Principal and then the Academy Councillors (Governors). 

10. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils.

The work of the SEND Department is overseen by Mrs Sally Kay, Assistant Principal, SENCo Lead. The SENCo is responsible for ensuring that outside agencies are involved when necessary. Mrs Kay liaises with the Academy Council through regular meetings.

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with SEND, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 of the new Code of Practise.

Contact details of support services can be found in Cambridgeshire’s “Local Offer”, found at /SEND

12. The school’s arrangements for supporting students with SEND transferring between phases of education, or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

Arrangements for students transferring to Ely College at phase transfer are referred to in section 7. In addition, students with SEND often have extra visits to the school as well as the normal “taster days” experienced by the whole cohort. The SENCo runs a group for the most vulnerable students in Year 6 leading up to the two Induction days. This is a small group of twenty students who are chosen to attend after liaison between our SENCo and the SENCos in our feeder schools.  Where students transfer mid phase, previous schools and records are consulted regarding the student’s SEND status, and, where appropriate assessments take place.

During KS4, all students undertake work around their post 16 options. All will complete work experience, with extended work experience being organised where it is deemed appropriate. Pupils who need support will be helped to write their personal statements for post 16 providers. They will be offered taster days at providers, with TAs to accompany and support where this is deemed necessary. For students with EHCP's, representation, from post 16 providers they are interested in, will be invited to Annual Reviews. These students will also have had input from Personal Advisors throughout KS4 regarding post 16 provision. All students in the school have access to a Young Person’s Advisor, who will provide information and advice on post 16 options.

During KS5 the procedure is similar to that of KS4 with visits arranged to various open days at universities, by the student support officer for 6th form. Staff  also help students complete their UCAS applications to ensure they meet the deadline. 

Transfer Arrangements

All documentation about special needs included in a student's record is transferred between schools. The SENCo deals with specific enquiries.

The SENCo attends all Year 6 transfer reviews for students with an EHCP, when invited.

Additional induction days are arranged, as required, for all students with SEND / vulnerability factors.

The records of students who leave at the end of Year 11 are forwarded to Post 16 placements once these have been confirmed.

The CMAT SEND policy can be found here on their Policies page. 

The Cambridgeshire County Council SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) page can be found here.